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How to treat an Acute Ankle Sprain by Dr. James Flynn

How to treat an Acute Ankle Sprain by Dr. James Flynn


Grade 2 & 3 ankle sprains (Lateral ankle sprain, Deltoid sprain, “High” ankle sprain or syndesmosis injury if stable on external rotation stress x-ray or weight bearing ankle CT) The Acute TayCo External Ankle Brace provides stability without limiting function to patients recovering from acute ankle injuries. It fits over the user’s footwear, providing comfort and protection against soft tissue damage. The brace fully restricts inversion and eversion of the ankle with options for immobilization and range of motion (ROM) for plantarflexion and dorsiflexion.

Treatment Protocol

Weeks 1–2
  • Consider application of Fixed Acute TayCo External Ankle Brace if edema allows (may need to splint and elevate for a week or two if too swollen)
  • WBAT in brace and shoe, but use crutches initially to assist with ambulation
  • Remove brace to work on active dorsiflexion and plantarflexion
  • Also remove brace to sleep and rest
Weeks 4–5
  • Convert Fixed Tayco External Ankle Brace to ROM
  • Wean out of brace for indoor activities but continue brace outside the home
  • Begin inversion/eversion (side to side) range of motion
  • Start physical therapy
Week 6
  • Transition to shoe +/- lace up ankle brace full time
Consider a custom TayCo External Ankle Brace if patient has significant deformity.


The TayCo External Ankle Brace is excellent for control of inversion and eversion. The healing of the sprain is equivalent to treatment with cast or walking boot but has decreased back, hip, and knee pain compared to walking boot. Fitting the brace to the outside of the patient’s footwear allows for compatibility with a custom orthotic unlike competitive solutions. The comfort, ease of application, and lightweight construction leads to improved patient compliance, satisfaction, and excellent outcomes compared with other AFOs.

- By Dr. James Flynn South Bend Orthopedics, Consulting Physician for University of Notre Dame Athletics Dr. James Flynn is a 2003 graduate of the University of Notre Dame and a 2008 graduate of Rutgers-New Jersey Medical School. He was a chief resident in orthopaedic surgery at Penn State and then completed a foot and ankle fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Has incorporated TayCo Brace into his regular treatment protocols for many ankle and hindfoot pathologies.

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